In Arabic, connected pronouns can be attached to verbs, nouns, or prepositions. If attached to verbs, they can be a subject (the doer of the action) فَاعِل or an object (the receiver of the action) مَفْعُول. In this lesson, we look at the connected subject pronouns with regular perfective verbs الْفِعْلُ الْمَاضِي. In a previous lesson, we briefly looked at the common personal pronouns (also know as separate pronouns). The personal pronoun الضَّمِيْر المُنْفَصِل refers to the person who’s speaking (1st person), the person we speak to (2nd person), or the person we speak about (3rd person). For each of these pronouns, there is a corresponding connected pronoun.
For the separate pronoun أَنَا, the connected pronoun is ـتُ; for نَحْنُ 'we', it is ـنَا; for أَنْتَ 'you (masculine)', it is ـتَ, and so on, as shown in the table below. This connected pronoun is attached to the perfective verb الْفِعْلُ الْمَاضِي. Hence, it is the subject of the verb, that is الْفَاعِل.
|The Separate Pronoun||The Connected Pronoun||Connected Pronoun with Verbs|
كَتَبْـتُ رِسَالَةً – I wrote a letter
شَرِبْـتُ كُوبًا مِنَ الشَّاي – I drank a cup of tea
رَقَدْتُ عَلَى الْكَنَبَةِ – I slept on the sofa
ذَهَبْـنَا إِلَى السُّوقِ – we went to the market
شَاهَدْنَا التِّلْفَازَ – we watched the TV
نَظَّفْـنَا الْبَيْتَ – we cleaned the house
you - masculine
قَرَأْتَ رُوَايَةً جَدِيْدَةً – you read a new novel
ضَحِكْـتَ مَعَهُم – you laughed with them
فَتَحْـتَ الْبَابَ – you opened the door
you - feminine
خَرَجْـتِ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ – you went out
طَبَخْـتِ بَامِيَةً – you cooked okra
غَسَلْـتِ مَلابِسَكِ – you washed your clothes
you - masculine, plural
لَعِبْـتُم فِي الْحَدِيْقةِ – you played in the garden
قَفَزْتُم إِلَى النَّهرِ – you jumped to the river
سَبَحْـتُم فِي النَّهْرِ – you swam in the river
you - feminine plural
نَزَلْـتُنَّ مِنَ السَّيَّارَةِ – you got off the car
فَتَحْـتُنَّ بَابَ السَّيَّارَةِ – you opened the car door
عَرَفْـتُنَّ الْإِجَابَةَ – you knew the answer
دَرَسَ التَّارِيْخَ – he studied history
أَخَذَ الكِـتَابَ – he took book
حَمَلَ الشَّنْطَةَ – he carried the bag
جَلَسَتْ عَلَى الْمَقْعَدِ – she sat on the bench
ذَهَبَتْ إِلَى الْجَامِعَةِ – she went to the university
دَخَلَتْ إِلَى الْغُرْفَةِ – she came in to the room
they - masculine
رَفَضُـوا الْفِكْرَةَ – they rejected the idea
عَطَسُـوا – they sneezed
رَجَعُـوا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ – they returned home
they - feminine
لَبِسْـنَ مَلابِسَ جِدِيْدةً – they wore new clothes
سَافَرْنَ إِلَى الْقَرِيَةِ – they traveled to the village
طبَخْـنَ العَشَاءِ – they cooked dinner
The connected pronouns in the above example function as a subject فَاعِل (i.e. the person who did the action). With هُوَ and هِيَ, there is no attached pronoun because it is covert مُسْتَتِر; that is, it does not overtly surface as a suffix at the verb end.
Here are more examples of perfective forms with هُوَ and هِيَ:
سَافَرَ إِلَى أُسْتَرَالِيَا – he travelled to Australia
كَتَبَ رُوَايَةً جَدِيْدَةً – he wrote a new novel
رَكِبَ سَيَّارَتَه إِلَى العَمَلِ – he rode / took his car work
شَرِبَ كَأسًا مِنَ الحَلِيْبِ – he drank a glass of milk
|There is no connected pronoun at the end of the verb. The doer of the action is understood from the context.|
سَافَرَتْ إِلَى أُسْتَرَالِيا.
كَتَبَتْ رُوَايَةً جَدِيْدةً.
رَكِبَتْ سَيَّارَتَها إِلَى العَمَلِ.
شَرِبَتْ كَأسًا مِنَ الحَلِيْبِ.
|the تْ at the end of the verb is not for the subject. It marks the feminine. The subject pronoun is covert understood as هِيَ.|
|The forms of the verb with هُوَ and هِيَ are the same. That is, no attached pronoun surfaces at the verb end—it is covert. The only difference between the two forms is that the feminine marker تْ is added when the covert pronoun is هِيَ.|